Manu Gupta has acted as CFO of several high growth businesses including MyDrive Solutions, GridDuck, and Brisk. He shares his unusual journey to his first CFO role and becoming a board advisor. Manu isn’t from a traditional accountancy background. He started his career in sales. A finance-based MBA then took Manu into a career in management consulting. He chose to leave consulting and move to a startup. The startup needed a finance team ahead of a Series A investment. Manu’s job was to create that team.
Manu regards himself as a generalist and really enjoys the variety of challenges the CFO role offers him. We talk about how to become sufficiently rounded to do all the things a generalist CFO needs to do well. We also examine Manu’s skills as a management consultant and understand how he applied those to be a dynamic finance leader.
Manu talks about the attitudes and skills a modern CFO needs to bring to the role. He has much to share. Listen to the full episode to find out more, including passions and lessons learned that come straight from the cricket field!
- Manu Gupta on LinkedIn
- Kevin Appleby on LinkedIn
- Find out more about becoming a CFO
- The CFO as co-pilot to the CEO
00:59 How did you become a CFO?
02:35 From sales to finance
03:35 Manu’s mantra: “I find myself in places I’ve not been before”
04:36 Becoming a well-rounded generalist
05:00 An MBA in finance leads to a career in consultancy
06:10 Opportunity to work in a startup and create a finance team ahead of a Series A fundraise
07:16 Advantages & disadvantages of an accountancy qualification and background
09:22 Leveraging skills learned as a consultant
11:06 What attitudes and skills do modern CFOs need?
11:45 Being a business partner and helping others make decisions
13:36 How to engage with others
16:04 Managing your energy
17:13 Managing situations with customers
20:40 Working with the SLT beyond just finance
22:21 Acting as a non-exec alongside being an operational CFO
25:27 Having an impact
25:51 Ben Stokes – lessons from the cricket field
28:45 What are you passionate about?
31:31 The Godfather and the CFO